Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Calling a sales bluff

I've been in sales for a while now, and I like to think I have an idea how the game is played. One piece involves discounts. I'm not opposed to them...if the volume is there. So, as it's said, show me the money.

One time a fellow did just that. And I still have his money.

Someone I'd never seen before came to me about buying an Electric Eel, the snakes I sell. After going through all the early process, showing him a unit and what goes with it, we came to the real nitty gritty. We began talking cost.

"I'm going to be big, Cosgriff, real big," he was preaching to me. "I'll bring you all my business. Can you help me out?"

"Whaddaya want?"

"Ten percent. I'm gonna buy a lot of stuff off you, man."

I hedged. You can usually tell when you're dealing with someone who's putting you on, painting a grand vista; playing with cow cookies. Yet this time, instead of turning him down flat I thought I'd call his bluff. "What's your initial order?" I asked.

"Five," he answered without hesitation.

"Deal," I answered in kind. At the time his total was around $6,000. I'd go ten off for that.

"Write me up Cosgriff, and I'll give you a down payment," he says, with an unwarranted degree of self assurance. "I'll pay the balance when you get the stuff." So I wrote him up.

He gave me twenty dollars.

I never even bothered to process the order. And here at least a decade later, I still have his twenty bucks.

No comments: